The 2018-19 Community Read program continues Saturday with a special “Meet the Author” event. Andrew Highsmith, author of Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan and the Fate of the American Metropolis will give a presentation and lead discussion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Flint Public Library.
Highsmith is a specialist in modern U.S. history with particular interests in cities, public policy, racial and economic inequalities, and public health. With a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, he is associate professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Demolition Means Progress explores racial inequality and economics in Flint from the early twentieth century to 2015, just prior to the emergence of the water crisis. The title is drawn from signs GM placed around shuttered assembly plants beginning in 1997, “Demolition Means Progress,” signs which reflected leaders’ attitude that revitalization required demolishing so-called outdated and inefficient structures and institutions. Decades of these policies, Highsmith asserts, have left Flint one of the most racially and economically polarized metropolitan areas in the nation.
Participants meet monthly through June 8 to read and discuss the relevance and impact of issues Highsmith has raised. This season of Community Read began in October, and has covered Chapters 1-4. It is not too late to join in. Monthly meeting details are available here.